A Practical Guide to Making an Umbrella Holder…

to protect camera while photographing in the rain.


The urgent necessity for an umbrella holder began in Gerberoy, the village of roses, and un de les plus beaux villages de France…..and it was raining! A photographer buddy, Ann O’Hagan, see www.annohagan.com after you read this blog and I were driving through some of the beautiful French villages around the Normandie region after spending a week in Monet’s glorious garden, Giverny.

This is Ann. She is happy because she and her equipment are protected. She just whipped out her umbrella holder, attached it to her tripod and merrily photographed wherever she chose while I selected spots based on shelter from the deluge.


It seemed that her husband got tired of holding an umbrella in the rain to shield Ann and her equipment from the inclement elements. What a clever guy! I, on the other hand, would have to improvise as my husband passed away several years earlier….so I photographed her brilliant invention made by the clever Giulio with a fishing reel holder and clamp.


I was very wet while Ann was dry and clicking away. Suddenly the wisdom of Oscar Wilde came to me: talent borrows and genius steals…how was I going to invent this item!!!


Scouring the internet, I ordered a couple of umbrella holders….and returned them as fast as they arrived as they were too small, too flimsy and way too expensive. Then came this brainstorm…PVC PIPE and fittings!

I brought my tripod and umbrella into a local Loews and spoke with a fantastic sales person, Jason Aronson, who had previously helped me solve a hardware problem…and then discovered that he, too, was into photography.

He, in turn, introduced me to a fellow in the plumbing department who delighted in creative problem-solving the PVC way…and here is this brilliant solution to photographing in the rain.

You will need:


This is a snap T clamp and has an open back that snaps onto the column of the tripod under the tripod head


a male adapter to be the connector between the pipe and the T on the tripod column


pipe cut to varying lengths to provide options how far to place the umbrella. Pipe is bought in 6’ lengths so the sales-person cut several pieces of varying sizes from one pipe length to accommodated different sized cameras and lenses


a 90 degree elbow that will fit the pipe but have enough of a cup opening to hold your umbrella handle

All together this item cost me less than $5.00 to assemble and it is perfect. The photographic sun will shine even on the rainiest of days!


Happy to share and happy shooting! Send me pictures of your umbrella holder and let me know how you like it and you, too will be smiling in the rain!


Here I am in rainy Amboise, France and I am smiling….not because I am with my knight in shining armor but because I have my umbrella holder with me. Kathryn O’Donnell, www.botanicus.com took this photo during a very wet stay in France in 2013. Thanks Ann and Kathryn, Giulio, Lowes Plumbing Department, Jason Aronson and Oscar Wilde for your role in keeping my gear dry in the rain!!


One thought on “A Practical Guide to Making an Umbrella Holder…

  1. Pingback: Gifts for Architectural Photographers – a Few Things to Make Life Easier | Architectural Photography Almanac

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